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Piriformospora indica promotes adventitious root formation in cuttings.

Adventitious root formation in excised plant shoots is a crucial process in the vegetative propagation of many plant species, and insufficient rooting causes substantial losses in the propagation industry. Based on the various physiological effects on whole plants described for the basidiomycete Piriformospora indica, it was hypothesized that inoculation of the substrate with this endophyte should promote the generation and growth of adventitious roots in cuttings. Inoculation experiments were conducted to study the effects of P. indica on adventitious rooting in three plant species. Inoculation with P. indica dramatically enhanced the number and length of the adventitious roots in pelargonium and poinsettia. Root colonization parameters suggest that the interaction between the endophyte and cuttings had already occurred before physical contact. In contrast, petunia showed no rooting response to P. indica inoculation. Very fast root formation in this plant indicates that a minimum time period for the fungus–plant interaction is required for establishment of a promoting effect. P. indica-based biotechnology is proposed as a new tool for improving plant propagation systems of plant species or cultivars with low to moderate capacity of adventitious root formation.

Drüge, U.; Baltruschat, H.; Franken, P. 2007. Piriformospora indica promotes adventitious root formation in cuttings. Scientia Horticulturae 112 (4), 422-426.